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A Review of Lost in the Middle: Midlife and the Grace of God1

Few want to talk about the crises that many people face in midlife. Paul David Tripp discusses the middle years and why Christians often have problems and questions.

  • Byron Snapp,
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Few want to talk about the crises that many people face in midlife. Paul David Tripp discusses the middle years and why Christians often have problems and questions. He provides Biblical answers and offers true hope for those meandering in dark valleys.

Throughout this volume, readers are reminded that crises do not suddenly appear in the forties and fifties. Unfortunately, they have been under construction for years due to wrong priorities or a failure to nurture one’s spiritual life according to Scripture. When treasured dreams die, or a marriage falters, or good health is history, people face a crisis because they are spiritually unprepared to cope with the issues. They have been too busy chasing personal goals to think that God’s goals could be quite different.

In twelve concise chapters, Tripp focuses on such subjects as aging, regret, dashed dreams, idolatry, and identities. He treats these issues realistically and, thus, scripturally. Drawing from much experience gained in Christian counseling, he is able to dissect the crisis and provide clear, Biblical direction in how to think and act correctly.

He includes many actual examples of individuals who have faced aging issues or the crisis of regret. He provides correct and incorrect responses. Tripp is himself middle-aged and draws a wealth of information from his own life that is pertinent and practical. He communicates with authenticity and compassion to the reader.

The objective of this volume is not to make one feel good or to smooth over a dilemma with some secular counsel. The author always points the reader to God’s Word for the necessary diagnosis, proper repentance, and the resultant rebuilding process. These steps are vitally important.

This volume can be read profitably by adults of any age. Those beyond midlife and those in the midst of midlife can apply these principles where they are needed. Those whose midlife years seem far into the future can inventory their lives to root out faulty presuppositions and practices in marriage, vocation, or intellectual thought. By God’s grace they may avoid some of the pitfalls.

I have used this material as a basic resource for teaching a Sunday school class on midlife issues. It can also be used for home Bible studies or personal study.

  • Byron Snapp

Byron Snapp is a graduate of King College (B.A.) and Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div.). He was Associate Pastor at Calvary Reformed Presbyterian Church, Hampton, Virginia, from 1994 until his retirement in December 2014. He is a native of Marion, Virginia.  He has had pastorates in Leakesville, Mississippi, and Gaffney, South Carolina.  He served as Assistant Pastor in Cedar Bluff, Virginia prior to his ministry at Calvary Reformed. He has served as editor of the Presbyterian Witness and was a contributor to A Comprehensive Faith and Election Day Sermons. He is currently a member of Westminster Presbytery in the PCA. He and his wife Janey have 3 children and several grandchildren. 

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